Congo: Seeking Someone To Blame


October 21, 2022: The UN is once again publicly considering a withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping force, or at least a major reduction in the size and mission of the force. UN officials in Congo believe there is a "crisis of confidence" exhibited by Congolese in the east (North and South Kivu provinces) towards the peacekeeper presence. That is a key factor in reconsidering UN peacekeeper operations there. The revival of the M23 rebel group is another. The UN specifically mentioned the July 13 attack by M23 fighters on the North Kivu town of Bunagana as a turning point. In mid-August the UN temporarily withdrew peacekeepers from the North Kivu city of Butembo after three peacekeepers and 12 civilians died in a riot and confrontation. There have been numerous incidents since. On September 30 a Pakistani peacekeeper was killed when a local militia attacked his unit’s camp. On October 5 peacekeepers in South Kivu repelled two attacks on their base by a tribal militia. Following the October attack UN officials warned that attacks on peacekeepers may be a war crime and the attackers could face war crimes charges in an international court. The UN peacekeeping operation currently deployed is around 12,000 soldiers and just over 1,600 policemen, including about 590 individual policemen and 1,050 policemen in formed police units. The number of soldiers serving as peacekeepers may soon drop to around 11,500. Ukraine withdrew 250 soldiers in mid-September. (Austin Bay)

October 18, 2022: In eastern Congo (North Kivu province) ADF Islamic terrorists attacked two clinics, killing six people and kidnapping a nurse.

October 13, 2022: In Uganda, president Museveni reinstated his son, general Muhoozi Kainerugaba. Nine days ago, Museveni fired Muhoozi for meddling in Kenyan politics and threatening to invade Kenya. In a tweet Muhoozi claimed he and his forces could seize Nairobi in two weeks. Muhoozi has since apologized to Kenyan leader William Ruto and sought his forgiveness. It is good to be the president’s son. After his reinstatement, Muhoozi was promoted to full general (four-star). When he was fired, he was a three-star lieutenant general. For what it’s worth, many Kenyans and Ugandans thought Muhoozi’s Twitter bravado was ridiculous. Moreover, Kenya and Uganda are regarded as allies. Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that “the Government of the Republic of Uganda does not conduct its Foreign Policy and other official business through social media…”

October 12, 2022: In western Congo (Mai-Ndombe province) tribal violence continues. This began in July when fighting broke out between the Teke and Yaka tribal militias. Now an estimated 30,000 people have been displaced by the violence. Another 2,600 people have fled to the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) and are seeking asylum.

October 9, 2022: FATA (Financial Action Task Force) is placing Congo on its list of countries “subject to enhanced surveillance”. This is FATF’s so-called “gray list” of nations not policing money laundering, terrorist financing and financial corruption operations. Congo’s finance minister said he would follow all of FATF’s recommendations regarding Congo.

October 6, 2022: Congo president Tshisekedi rejected a request made by the U.S. government to halt an auction of oil drilling blocks located in the Congo Basin’s tropical peatlands. The U.S. claimed the area is one of the world’s largest “carbon sinks.”

In Zambia the anti-corruption commission arrested five men for being involved in an $18 million scam to defraud the government. One of the arrested is a former national health minister. The scam involved purchasing medical health kits.

The U.S. accused Russia of exploiting CARs (Central African Republic) natural resources in order to help finance Russia’s war on Ukraine. The statement specifically mentioned the Russian mercenary company the Wagner Group.

October 4, 2022: In eastern Congo (North Kivu province) ADF Islamic terrorists killed and beheaded twenty local Christians and kidnapped several others. So far this month ADF has killed at least fifty Christians and kidnapped several others. There are many Christians who are missing and believed to have fled the ADF violence.

In the capital, president Tshisekedi fired the Army Chief of Staff general Celestin Mbala Musense. This was described this action as part of a series of military reforms. Musense will be replaced by general Christian Tshiwewe Songhesha, who previously commanded the elite Republican Guard. The Republican Guard protects the president and key government installations. The president’s office pointed out the new chief of staff and his deputy are much younger than the men they replaced.

Ugandan security forces in the capital (Kampala) detained nine people who were protesting against a planned crude oil pipeline project. The pipeline will cost between $3.5 and four billion dollars and connect Uganda's oilfields to a seaport in Tanzania.

Ugandan president Museveni removed his son, general Kainerugaba, as commander of Uganda’s infantry forces (land forces). Muhoozi had threatened to attack and seize Kenya’s capital, Nairobi and insulted Kenya’s new president. Bad form -- Kenya and Uganda are supposed to be allies. Muhoozi has also claimed he supports some rebel groups in eastern Congo and called on Africans to support Russia in its war against Ukraine.

October 3, 2022: In eastern Congo (North Kivu province) a homemade explosive device detonated in a movie theater. At least ten people were wounded. This took place in the city of Butembo, which has suffered several attacks by terrorists belonging to the ADF.

Elsewhere in eastern Congo (Ituri province) suspected ADF terrorists entered a rural village and hacked to death 14 civilians and then burned three dozen houses.

In the Central African Republic (CAR), a roadside bomb killed three UN peacekeepers from Bangladesh. The men were riding in a vehicle when the bomb exploded. Several other peacekeepers were wounded. The attack took place near the Cameroon border.

October 1, 2022: In western Uganda a Tanzanian doctor working in at a health facility died from Ebola. Last month Uganda confirmed one Ebola death and said it was investigating seven suspected Ebola deaths.

September 30, 2022: In eastern Congo the situation in Congo is deteriorating because of continued attacks by violent groups. There was also concern about confrontations between UN personnel and local civilians. The total number of displaced people now in Congo is 5.5 million and most blame their situation on the violence in eastern Congo.

September 28, 2022: In Uganda at least 22 people have been killed in two military helicopter crashes in the last three days. Both crashes occurred during operations against ADF terrorists. One crash was in Congo It is believed both helicopters were involved in operations against the ADF. One crash occurred in Congo (Ituri province) and the other was across the border in Uganda.

September 27, 2022: Congo declared the end of its latest Ebola virus outbreak in North Kivu province.

September 23, 2022: In eastern Congo (North Kivu province) at least one person was killed and two wounded during a demonstration against the March 23rd (M23) rebel group. M23 also calls itself the Congolese Revolutionary Army (CRA).

September 22, 2022: Congo and Rwanda reached an agreement to “reduce tensions” between the two countries. Congo president Tshisekedi and Rwandan president Kagame met during the UN General Assembly in New York. French president Macron acted as mediator. The leaders said they would “jointly fight” terrorism and ensure that M23 rebels in Congo are withdrawn. On September 20 in a speech before the UN Tshisekedi accused Rwanda of “aggression” in Congo’s eastern provinces and providing M23 with “massive” support.

September 18, 2022: The head of the UN said that UN forces have not been able to defeat the forces of the revived M23 rebel movement. In part this is because the M23 has turned into a modern army, with more advanced military equipment than that of UN peacekeepers. Congo and regional diplomats accuse Rwanda of arming and training the new M23, which is also recruiting gunmen from refugees in camps in Kenya and Uganda.

Ukraine completed the withdrawal of its troops serving with the Congo peacekeeping force. Ukraine’s contingent included eight helicopters (about a third of the Congo peacekeepers helicopters). The withdrawal seriously reduces the effectiveness of peacekeeper combat operations and ability to provide logistical support.




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